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Smith & Caughey's loyal customers say looming closure 'a sign of the times'
Smith & Caughey's loyal customers say looming closure 'a sign of the times'

02 June 2024, 8:25 PM

Melanie Earley, Senior journalistOne of New Zealand's oldest department stores, Smith & Caughey's, has reopened to customers two days after announcing a proposal to close in 2025.It was announced on Wednesday the 144-year-old store would start consulting with staff about the potential closure of its retail operations on Auckland's Queen Street, Newmarket, and online.A cyber attack following the news saw the store remain closed an extra day.Smith & Caughey's chairperson Tony Caughey said over the last five years there had been a 40 percent decline in revenue in the physical stores, due to increasing competition from malls, more luxury brand stores, and roadworks in the CBD.The Queen Street store appeared quiet on Friday morning, with a few passerbys querying if it was open at all.Dunedin's Marelda O'Rourke-Gallaher was heading into the store and said she always visited when in Auckland."It's one of the last stalwarts of luxury department stores in New Zealand, it's tragic that it's going, but it's a sign of the times," she said."Young ones just buy online now."Smith and Caughey's on Queen St, Auckland. Photo: Supplied / Smith and Caughey'sO'Rourke-Gallaher said when she heard the news about the closure, she knew she wanted to go and take a look."It's going to be quite sad when it is closed - I like the variety of what they have here, there's a lot of really good labels and a wide range of different clothing sizes."The staff are lovely too, and I feel for them. I can see why it's closing but it is really sad."It was expected more than 200 workers will be impacted if the two stores do close.For Keith, who did not want his last name used, going to Smith & Caughey's for his morning coffee was a daily ritual."It's very sad to see all the department stores closing up shop because they can't compete in the modern environment."It's difficult for them, but I was still surprised to hear of the closure, they always seemed to be doing quite well and had their online sales too and are a trusted name."Smith and Caughey's in Newmarket, Auckland. Photo: Supplied / Smith and Caughey'sAnother shopper, who had been keenly waiting at the doors for the 10am opening, said Smith & Caughey's had always been "her happy place"."It was the main reason I moved back into town and got a central apartment. So for me, hearing it's closing is quite devastating."She said the city had changed a lot in recent years and she could understand why the store would close but hoped things in the city would start to improve soon."It's a beautiful old building too, so I really hope it's replaced with something else."

Why winter makes us SAD and how light can help
Why winter makes us SAD and how light can help

01 June 2024, 10:09 PM

If you're feeling sadder as the days get shorter, you're not alone. Around half the population report feeling less happy in winter and 5 percent fall into serious depression.Apart from nutrition and exercise, getting more light in your eyes is the best treatment we know for seasonal mood challenges, says NZ-born neurobiology researcher Anna Wirz-Justice, who is based in Basel, Switzerland, where she is emeritus professor of psychiatric neurobiology at the Centre for Chronobiology."The clinical studies that have used light as therapy have shown this is a very powerful treatment," she tells Susie Ferguson on Saturday Morning.▶ ListenWe don't yet know why some people are more vulnerable to seasonal mood challenges, Wirz-Justice says, but it may relate to serotonin levels and depression vulnerability in general.The psychological condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is found all over the world but the latitude of where you live can add to your risk.As New Zealand is a "long and thin" country, the amount of winter daylight on offer varies a lot, Wirz-Justice says.Those living in the "middle latitudes" - including in Wellington and Christchurch - are particularly vulnerable to getting down as daylight diminishes.For the large number of people prone to falling into the "winter blues", more exposure to sunlight can be all that's needed to keep depression at bay, she says."Light - and in particular daylight, which we don't often get out into as much as we should - is so important for our basic health, for our psychological health, for our physical health."Professor Anna Wirz-Justice. Photo: The Daylight AwardFor the 5 percent of those who experience a "major depressive disorder" every autumn and winter that spontaneously lifts in spring and summer, the therapeutic use of bright artificial light is the best treatment we currently have, Wirz-Justice says.Sitting in front of intense light from a special light box for half an hour a day, preferably in the morning, can be effective in lifting the mood of these people, she says. These light boxes have an intensity of about 5,000 to 10,000 LUX (a measurement of light on a surface), Wirz-Justice says, which is equivalent to the light on "a bright, sunny day in the early morning".Indoors, the light intensity we are exposed to - usually around 50 to 500 LUX - is not strong enough to stabilise our biological clocks, she says.Outdoors - even on a grey, rainy day - the light is much more intense.To keep the winter blues at bay, Wirz-Justice recommends people get outside for half an hour every day, preferably in the morning.In the open air, you will get at least 3,000 LUX, she says, which is enough to synchronise your body clock for the day.As the positive effects of light on our biological rhythms occur through eye contact, it's best not to wear sunglasses during this morning light fix."We are not talking about light on the skin. We're talking about light hitting the retina and going straight to the brain to affect cognition and mood and rhythms and sleep - and that's all through the eyes."Exploring the vast potential of sunlight for human and planetary well-being is the focus of Daylight Academy - a group of researchers, scientists and designers of which Wirz-Justice is part.Increasingly, hospitals are being designed with indoor light in mind, she says, and dementia care facilities with lighting systems that artificially signal dawn and dusk.  "The ramifications of what we know about how light affects human behaviour and physiology and psychology is growing and is enormous."This story was originally published by RNZ

Auckland overnight motorway closures 31 May – 8 June 2024
Auckland overnight motorway closures 31 May – 8 June 2024

31 May 2024, 9:57 PM

NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi advises of the following closures for motorway improvements. Work delayed by bad weather will be completed at the next available date, prior to Friday, 7 June 2024.Unless otherwise stated, closures start at 9pm and finish at 5am.NORTHERN MOTORWAY (SH1)Oteha Valley Road southbound off-ramp, 5-6 JuneOteha Valley Road northbound on-ramp, 5-6 JuneOteha Valley Road southbound on-ramp, 3-4 JuneOteha Valley Road northbound off-ramp, 3-4 JuneOnewa Road southbound on-ramp, 31 May & 1-2 June (approx. 8:00pm to 7:00am)Onewa Road southbound on-ramp, 3-4 June (approx. 8:00pm to 5:00am)Shelly Beach Road southbound off-ramp, 4-6 JuneCENTRAL MOTORWAY JUNCTION (CMJ)Westbound lanes between Tamaki Drive and Beach Road, 3-6 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)SOUTHERN MOTORWAY (SH1)South Eastern Highway (SEART) southbound off-ramp, 3-6 JuneSouthbound lanes between Takanini off-ramp and Drury/SH22 on-ramp, 3 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Southbound lanes between Takanini off-ramp and Drury/SH22 on-ramp, 4-5 June (approx. 9:30pm to 5:00am)Takanini southbound on-ramp, 3-5 June (approx. 9:30pm to 5:00am)Papakura (Loop) southbound on-ramp, 3-5 June (approx. 9:30pm to 5:00am)Papakura (Diamond) southbound on-ramp, 3-5 June (approx. 9:30pm to 5:00am)Northbound lanes between Papakura off-ramp and Takanini on-ramp, 4 JunePapakura (Diamond) northbound on-ramp, 4-6 JunePapakura (Loop) northbound on-ramp, 4-6 JunePapakura (Diamond) northbound on-ramp, 3 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Papakura (Loop) northbound on-ramp, 3 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Drury/SH22 northbound on-ramp, 3 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Drury/SH22 northbound on-ramp, 5-6 JuneNorthbound lanes between Drury/SH22 off-ramp and Takanini on-ramp, 3 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Northbound lanes between Drury/SH22 off-ramp and Takanini on-ramp, 5-6 JuneSouthbound lanes between Drury/SH22 off-ramp and Bombay on-ramp, 6 JuneDrury/SH22 southbound on-ramp, 6 JuneRamarama southbound on-ramp, 6 JuneBombay southbound on-ramp, 5 June (approx. 9:30pm to 5:00am)Beaver Road southbound off-ramp, 5 June (approx. 9:30pm to 5:00am)Beaver Road southbound on-ramp, 5 June (approx. 9:30pm to 5:00am)Nikau Road southbound off-ramp, 5 June (approx. 9:30pm to 5:00am)Pioneer Road northbound off-ramp, 31 May & 1-8 June (24/7)Southbound lanes between Nikau Road off-ramp and Nikau Road on-ramp, 4 June (approx. 9:30pm to 5:00am)Northbound lanes between Ridge Road off-ramp and Nikau Road on-ramp, 4 June (approx. 9:30pm to 5:00am)Razorback Road southbound off-ramp, 4 June (approx. 9:30pm to 5:00am)SH1 southbound to SH2 eastbound link, 4 June (approx. 9:30pm to 5:00am)Pokeno southbound off-ramp, 4 June (approx. 9:30pm to 5:00am)Pokeno southbound off-ramp, 3 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Pokeno southbound on-ramp, 3 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Pioneer Road southbound off-ramp, 3 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Southbound lanes between Mercer off-ramp and Mercer on-ramp, 3 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Northbound lanes between Mercer off-ramp and Mercer on-ramp, 3 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Mercer southbound on-ramp, 6 JuneDragway Road northbound off-ramp, 5 JuneSouthbound lanes between Hampton Downs off-ramp and Hampton Downs on-ramp, 5 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Northbound lanes between Hampton Downs off-ramp and Hampton Downs on-ramp, 5 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)NORTHWESTERN MOTORWAY (SH16)Southbound lanes between Waimauku Roundabout and Trigg Road, 3 JuneNorthbound lanes between Trigg Rd and Waimauku Roundabout, 3 JuneSouthbound lanes between Waimauku Roundabout and Trigg Road, 4-6 June (approx. 8:00pm to 5:00am)Northbound lanes between Trigg Rd and Waimauku Roundabout, 4-6 June (approx. 8:00pm to 5:00am)Te Atatu Road southbound on-ramp, 3 JuneUPPER HARBOUR MOTORWAY (SH18)Eastbound lanes between Brigham Creek Road off-ramp and Squadron Drive on-ramp, 4-6 JuneBrigham Creek Road eastbound on-ramp, 4-6 JuneSOUTHWESTERN MOTORWAY (SH20)Rimu Road northbound on-ramp, 5 JuneCoronation Road northbound off-ramp, 3-4 JuneCoronation Road northbound on-ramp, 3-4 JuneSTATE HIGHWAY 2 (SH2)SH2 westbound to SH1 southbound, 4 June (approx. 9:30pm to 5:00am)

NEW TO THE APP - Real Estate
NEW TO THE APP - Real Estate

31 May 2024, 7:32 PM

🆕🆕🆕New businesses under Real Estate tabs for you to check out and support.Bayleys Mahurangi is a full-service agency that specialises in residential sales, country, lifestyle and waterfront sales and commercial sales and leasing. Bayleys have four offices in the Mahurangi Region – Warkworth, Matakana, Point Wells and Omaha Beach.Premium Matakana Coast & Omaha is perfectly located in the historic village of Matakana to serve the beautiful coastal region that flows from Puhoi in the south to Pakiri in the north. Premium Real Estate specialises in the finest coastal, lifestyle & luxury real estate in New Zealand.Sheryl Campbell of Premium Matakana is delighted to have joined the Team at Premium Real Estate working out of the local Matakana Office which services the Residential, Waterfront and Lifestyle segments of the local Real Estate community.Sheryl lives in beautiful Omaha and has an extensive career in Real Estate spanning over 23 years. Experienced in Sales, Management and Franchise ownership she brings a wealth of knowledge in an ever changing and growing property market.Monique Egen of Ray White Warkworth has always been passionate about real estate and people. With experience in Interior design and owning her own business for over 15 years, as well as working with property development projects, Monique brings a fresh and unique approach to real estate. Her top priorities are emphasised on high-quality client and customer satisfaction, elite result-driven property marketing, the importance of understanding the needs of clients and maintaining superior results through communication between the parties involved for a smooth, stress-free real estate transaction.Team McKenzie is Sandy McKenzie & Yana Bell of Sotheby's International Realty NZ. Sandy and Yana provide invaluable support to vendors selling their coastal. With Sandy's extensive experience as a Licensed Agent spanning over 24 years, she expertly navigates real estate transactions, ensuring smooth and profitable sales processes. Complementing Sandy's expertise, Yana, a Licensed Salesperson armed with a Level 7 Digital Marketing Diploma, employs modern marketing strategies to maximise property exposure and attract potential buyers. Together, they form an excelling team dedicated to delivering exceptional service tailored to vendors' needs, exceeding expectations, and maximising the value of coastal properties in the market.📱 If you want your business to be on the App get in [email protected] or Contact  

One Mahurangi Business Assocation's stance on Watercare's wastewater plans
One Mahurangi Business Assocation's stance on Watercare's wastewater plans

30 May 2024, 7:00 PM

Watercare: The StoryBy now, most of you are aware of the Watercare plan to bring a wastewater pipe from the northern developments down through the center of town via Elizabeth Queen and Baxter Street to the pumping station in Lucy Moore Park.At the time of writing this, Watercare has not definitively confirmed this as the option, but if I were a betting man, I would bet my house on it. I do believe that for Watercare, this has been the preferred option all along. One Mahurangi has been fighting this for two years. Myself and our two Co-Chairs, Dave Stott and Bevan Morrison, have met with Watercare on a number of occasions to discuss their options.When we first met with them, we told them that the option to bring it through the town was absolutely a no-go. At another meeting, we were told that there was a 95% chance it would not go there. At our last meeting, approximately three weeks ago, we were told that it was very likely that the main streets were going to be the preferred route. We were also told at that point that to assist them with their decision-making, the cost was assigned 60%, but only 8% on impact to the community, which quite frankly, we found to be insulting!I believe that one of the problems is that for Watercare, this is the cheapest option as they want it to be gravity-fed. We believe that if it is pumped, then this opens up a number of other options. The option that we prefer is a pumped solution that brings the pipe down the river, ideally hard against the bank. This is a shorter route and bypasses the retail area completely.Our concern, and one which we have suggested to Watercare with force and passion, is that should they come through town with works that will last for a minimum of twelve months, possibly closer to eighteen months, then we risk losing at least 90% of the businesses in town. This means businesses closed, widespread unemployment, mortgagee sales when homes are used as collateral for a business, and everything from relationship breakups to mental health issues. Plus, we run the risk of killing the center of our town!We have a letter co-signed by most of the businesses in the center of town to the mayor, asking him to intervene and ask Watercare to relook at the pumping option. We are asking the Mayor for a meeting to formally present the letter to him. We have a petition, which is in a number of businesses in town, which we hope that most of the people in town will sign. This petition will be presented to both the Chairwoman and CEO of Watercare so that they can see that the whole town is against their option. (See link to the online petition here).If none of this works, we will go to national media, putting our side of the story and trying to put pressure on Watercare to consider the human cost of their decision. Failing that, we may have to resort to civil disobedience.Let us be clear on one thing: we are not against progress. This pipe needs to be installed. We want progress, but not destruction. Let's all work together to save our town. This is one of those times when we really are Stronger Together.Murray ChapmanOne Mahurangi [email protected] Local, Buy Local, Employ Local, Love Local!

POLICE APPEAL: Where is Ronny Okeke?
POLICE APPEAL: Where is Ronny Okeke?

28 May 2024, 10:04 PM

Police are continuing to urge anyone with information on the whereabouts of Ronny Okeke to come forward.Thirty-one days have now passed since the 60-year-old man was last seen or heard from.Detective Inspector Glenn Baldwin, of Auckland City CIB, says an investigation team is continuing to try and piece together his movements.“In the past week, two search warrants have been executed at two Auckland properties as part of our ongoing enquiries,” he says.“The longer we do not hear from Ronny our fears for the worst continue to grow.”Detective Inspector Baldwin says Police have still not established any further sightings of Ronny.Ronny usually resides in the Sandringham area, with his family living overseas.Anyone who has information surrounding Ronny’s disappearance or has seen or heard from him since 27 April 2024 is asked to urgently contact Police.“Ronny is a husband and a father, and his family deserve answers as to what has happened to him,” Detective Inspector Baldwin says.“If you have information, please come forward either by contacting Police directly or in confidence through Crime Stopper channels.”Please contact 105 quoting the file number 240501/3879.You can also report information online by going to https://www.police.govt.nz/use-105 and using ‘Update My Report’.Information can also be reported anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.Ronny’s last known movements:27 April 2024, 11am: Ronny attempts to call his wife overseas, call is unanswered.27 April 2024, 4.42pm: Ronny is seen on CCTV leaving New World Mt Roskill on Stoddard Road.1 May 2024: Ronny is reported missing to Police.

UPDATED 10.20am - Weather Warnings
UPDATED 10.20am - Weather Warnings

28 May 2024, 6:32 PM

Warkworth RegionWednesday 29th MaySevere Thunderstorm WarningArea: Rodney, Gulf, Thames Coromandel, Kaipara, Auckland City, Waikato, Hauraki, Waitakere, Franklin and AlbanyForecast: At 09:30 am, MetService weather radar detected a line of severe thunderstorms lying from OFFSHORE KAIPARA WEST COAST to OFFSHORE AUCKLAND WEST COAST to MERCER. This line of severe thunderstorms is moving towards the northeast, and is expected to lie from OFFSHORE KAIPARA WEST COAST to KAUKAPAKAPA to FIRTH OF THAMES at 10:00 am and from TOKATOKA to LEIGH to MATARANGI at 10:30 am. These thunderstorms are expected to be accompanied by damaging wind gusts.Impact: Very strong wind gusts can break branches from trees, damage roofing, and make driving hazardous especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.Severe Thunderstorm WatchPeriod: 9hrs from 10am - 7pm Wed, 29 MayArea: Auckland, Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula, WaikatoForecast: Squally showers embedded in a very strong southwest flow are expected across Auckland, and western parts of Waikato and Coromandel Peninsula from late morning through to early evening (Wednesday). There is a moderate risk of SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS during this time, with localised damaging wind gusts in excess of 110 km/h. Wind gusts of this strength can cause some structural damage, including trees and power lines, and may make driving hazardous.Strong Wind Warning - OrangePeriod: 17hrs from 10am Wed, 29 May - 3am Thu, 30 MayArea: Auckland and Great Barrier IslandForecast: Severe gale southwesterlies gusting 120 km/h in exposed places. The strongest winds are expected this eveningImpact: Strong wind gusts could damage trees, powerlines and unsecured structures. Driving may be hazardous, especially for high-sided vehicles and motorcycles.Mangawhai Region / NorthlandWednesday 29th MayStrong Wind WatchPeriod: 15hrs from noon Wed, 29 May - 3am Thu, 30 MayArea: Northland south of KaikoheForecast: Southwest winds may approach severe gale in exposed places.

Tens of thousands of pensioners still paying off student loans
Tens of thousands of pensioners still paying off student loans

27 May 2024, 6:31 PM

Susan Edmunds, Money CorrespondentTens of thousands of people past retirement age are still paying off their student loans, government figures show.Christchurch woman Sarah, who does not want to be identified, has been paying off a student loan for much of her adult life.She initially completed a bachelor's degree in sociology and geography and has an event management qualification, too. She graduated with about $40,000 in debt.She has since paid that down to $5000 but is now facing the prospect of adding to it again so that she can retrain as a teacher."I do find it demoralising to be 40 still with a loan. I feel like I'll never get ahead and I made so many decisions that just did not set me up to be financially successful."Financial mentors say student loan debt can stick with people for a long time.One Auckland financial mentor said people who had been on low incomes through their lives were sometimes shocked to discover their superannuation was being docked to repay a student loan."They wouldn't be repaying it on a benefit ... I don't think people realise when they go on to a pension they have to start repaying their student loan from a pension."When I've said 'look they just don't have any money' you get told 'they have to pay it back sometime'. I think lots of people who haven't earnt a lot of money after studying will be quite surprised about that."She said half to three-quarters of the pensioners she dealt with had a student loan.Financial coach Shula Newland said someone with a student loan could also find that income from KiwiSaver and other investments was used to pay it off.She said beneficiaries were often encouraged to study as a way to get off the benefit, but they could be left with a loan for a qualification in a field that did not pay well.It was possible to apply to have student loan repayments put on hold on hardship grounds, she said.Fincap senior policy adviser Jake Lilley said there should be a mechanism for people collecting debt to look at the wider picture of what was being achieved."To take a step back and say 'hang on a minute what are we trying to achieve here overall?' We want this person to be able to live a comfortable life and not having flow-on problems from poverty that arises when you can't afford things and you end up with a bad outcome that has a cost attachment with that, [like] hospitalisation ... if Studylink debt leads to someone not turning on the heater if they need it."At present, people are required to make payments of 12 percent of every dollar earned over $24,128 a year. A single person living alone would receive a pension of just over $31,500 a year.Government data showed at 30 June 2023, there were 21,710 student loan borrowers aged 65 and over. Of those, just under 16,600 were New Zealand-based.Sarah said she was concerned about the prospect of having a loan stretching into the future."Previously I treated it like a tax that I'd just have. Now I'd like to have the money instead but if I want a better career option, I need to do it."This story was originally published by RNZ

Waka Kotahi refuses to release briefing on scheme used to build motorways
Waka Kotahi refuses to release briefing on scheme used to build motorways

26 May 2024, 1:21 AM

The transport agency is refusing to release a briefing on two public-private partnerships used to build expensive sections of state highway.Waka Kotahi prepared a detailed status update on both the Pūhoi-to-Warkworth and Transmission Gully motorways in December.While both roads have been open for months or more, Transmission Gully remains technically unfinished and beset by legal wrangling.Pūhoi, though it missed deadlines as it struggled with landslides, appears on track for a final close-out in December.The existence of the Waka Kotahi update was disclosed in a Treasury note, but Waka Kotahi rejected RNZ's Official Information Act request to release it on the grounds of commercial sensitivity and legal privilege.The Infrastructure Commission, in a long overdue independent review earlier this month, found the public-private partnership (PPP) was not the root cause of Transmission Gully's time and cost overruns.The final bills have yet to land for either motorway due to contractors' claims still being worked through.Nominally, the 27km-long Transmission Gully cost about $1.25 billion, and the 18km Pūhoi motorway possibly about $900m - but the latter has been hit by claims of more than $200m, related to Covid delays.The latest progress report on Pūhoi, released under the Official Information Act, had two full pages about "claims and determinations" completely blanked out. It listed 24 outstanding issues and five "high risks" to completely finishing the project, but said there had been good progress on them.The Pūhoi-to-Warkworth motorway is likely to cost more than $1 billion. Photo: Screenshot / RNZForty-two design changes had been finalised by April, and only three were still being worked on.The Pūhoi PPP consortium missed a goal of opening the road in August 2022 by several months, but it had made "excellent progress" on fixing non-compliant items as full works completion neared in April, the report said.Final "close-out" tests were forecast for December 2024.The Pūhoi motorway goes through patches of unstable land. RNZ earlier revealed that a large, slow-moving slip had cracked concrete barriers and damaged the road shoulder at a northern section, around the time the popular motorway opened in mid-2023.Waka Kotahi confirmed at the time there was deep-seated movement.It now said this site was fully repaired by September 2023 and was causing no concern now."Regular monitoring reports are produced by the contractor as part of this exercise."At one point there was a slip on surplus land that needed fixing, the progress report said.This story was written by Phil Pennington, and originally posted on RNZ News

NZ spent $113m helping build and use US military satellites
NZ spent $113m helping build and use US military satellites

25 May 2024, 8:08 PM

New Zealand has spent $113 million so far to help build and use a web of United States military satellites, government papers show.New Zealand has relied for 12 years on the Wideband Global Satellite Communications web, built by Boeing and run by the Pentagon for several allied countries.The US has recently been asking partners to stump up more cash, and New Zealand said it would put $15m towards sending up two much more powerful satellites to take the web up to one dozen.It also pays an annual operating fee of just over $1m.A briefing from April released under the Official Information Act showed the total costs since 2012 were $113m.Of that, $83m was the fee that New Zealand paid in 2012 for access to the web of 10 satellites.The briefing also said that the Defence Force was looking to boost its very limited space capabilities, and was interested in more ground-based space infrastructure at a time of "rapid" growth of the country's commercial space operators."This could include vertical or horizontal launch infrastructure, and other ground-based infrastructure that supports the testing and trialling of uncrewed aerial vehicles, rockets and supporting technologies," a briefing to the government late last year said.The Defence Force told RNZ that its updated Defence Capability Plan would lay out any indicative investments relating to space through to 2040.The new plan is due to go to the defence minister next month.This story was originally posted on RNZ News

Whakaari/ White Island volcano alert level raised after another 'minor' eruption
Whakaari/ White Island volcano alert level raised after another 'minor' eruption

25 May 2024, 1:06 AM

GNS Science has again raised the Volcanic Activity Level for Whakaari / White Island to 3 after a "minor" eruption.It had also raised the aviation colour code to orange, which indicated a volcano was showing heightened unrest with increased likelihood of eruption, or an eruption was underway with no or only minor ash emissions.GNS Science's camera in Whakatāne shows a minor eruption on Whakaari / White Island. Photo: GNS ScienceDuty volcanologist Yannik Behr said a further minor eruption happened about 8.10am on Saturday morning."Footage from our Whakatāne camera indicates that this morning's activity is very similar in size to what was observed yesterday."We noticed a vigorous steam-gas plume above the island at 8.10am NZST. As we have no sensors on the island we are relying on webcams and satellite imagery to assess the situation."Based on our limited information there were no clear indications of volcanic ash in the plume. If there were, it would be unlikely to reach the mainland under current wind conditions."Another minor eruption happened on Friday morning, when witnesses described smoke rising from the island.A resident near the island told RNZ there was a "good eruption going on" with "big plumes smoke and ash".By evening, however, there had been no other eruptions and the island's activity level was lowered.In 2019, a deadly eruption of the volcano killed 22 people and injured 25 others.The steam-gas plume above the island had reverted to more normal levels, and GNS Science volcanologists were continuing to monitor the volcano, Behr said.This story was originally posted by RNZ News

Auckland overnight motorway closures 24 May – 1 June 2024
Auckland overnight motorway closures 24 May – 1 June 2024

24 May 2024, 8:59 PM

NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi advises of the following closures for motorway improvements. Work delayed by bad weather will be completed at the next available date, prior to Friday, 31 May 2024.Please note this Traffic Bulletin is updated every Friday.Unless otherwise stated, closures start at 9pm and finish at 5am.NORTHERN MOTORWAY (SH1)Southbound lanes between Orewa off-ramp and Silverdale on-ramp, 26-27 MayOrewa southbound on-ramp, 26-27 MayMillwater southbound on-ramp, 26-27 MayNorthbound lanes between Silverdale off-ramp and Orewa on-ramp, 26-27 MaySilverdale northbound on-ramp, 26-27 MayOteha Valley Road southbound on-ramp, 26-29 MayOteha Valley Road northbound off-ramp, 26-29 MaySouthbound lanes between Oteha Valley Road off-ramp and Constellation Drive on-ramp, 30 May (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Oteha Valley Road southbound on-ramp, 30 May (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Greville Road southbound on-ramp, 30 May (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)SH1 southbound to SH18 westbound Link, 30 May (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Northbound lanes between Constellation Drive off-ramp and Oteha Valley Road on-ramp, 29 May (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Greville Road northbound on-ramp, 29 MayConstellation Drive northbound on-ramp, 29 MayOnewa Road southbound on-ramp, 31 May & 1 June (approx. 8:00pm to 7:00am)Curran Street northbound on-ramp, 26-30 May (approx. 09:30pm to 5:00am)Stafford Road northbound off-ramp, 26-30 May (approx. 09:30pm to 5:00am)CENTRAL MOTORWAY JUNCTION (CMJ)Westbound lanes between Tamaki Drive and Beach Road, 26-30 May (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)SOUTHERN MOTORWAY (SH1)South Eastern Highway (SEART) southbound off-ramp, 26-30 MayRedoubt Road northbound on-ramp, 27-28 & 30 MaySH1 northbound to SH20 northbound link, 26 MayHill Road northbound on-ramp, 26 MaySouthbound lanes between Takanini off-ramp and Drury/SH22 on-ramp, 26-30 May (approx. 9:30pm to 5:00am)Takanini southbound on-ramp, 26-30 May (approx. 9:30pm to 5:00amPapakura (Loop) southbound on-ramp, 26-30 May (approx. 9:30pm to 5:00am)Papakura (Diamond) southbound on-ramp, 26-30 May (approx. 9:30pm to 5:00am)Takanini northbound on-ramp, 26 MayPapakura (Loop) northbound on-ramp, 26 & 28-30 MayPapakura (Diamond) northbound on-ramp, 26 & 28-30 MayNorthbound lanes between Papakura off-ramp and Takanini on-ramp, 29-30 MayDrury/SH22 northbound on-ramp, 26 & 28 MayNorthbound lanes between Drury/SH22 off-ramp and SH20/ SH1 Links, 26 MayNorthbound lanes between Drury/SH22 off-ramp and Takanini on-ramp, 28 MayRamarama northbound on-ramp, 27 MayBombay northbound on-ramp, 27 MayNorthbound lanes between Bombay off-ramp and Drury/SH22 on-ramp, 27 MaySouthbound lanes between Bombay off-ramp and Bombay on-ramp, 28-30 MayNorthbound lanes between Bombay off-ramp and Bombay on-ramp, 28-30 MayBeaver Road northbound on-ramp, 28-30 MayBeaver Road northbound off-ramp, 28-30 MaySouthbound lanes between Nikau Road off-ramp and Nikau Road on-ramp, 28-30 MayNorthbound lanes between Ridge Road off-ramp and Nikau Road on-ramp, 28-30 MayPioneer Road northbound off-ramp, 24-31 May & 1 June (24/7)NORTHWESTERN MOTORWAY (SH16)Southbound lanes between Waimauku Roundabout and Trigg Road, 26-30 MayNorthbound lanes between Trigg Rd and Waimauku Roundabout, 26-30 MayTe Atatu Road (Loop) southbound on-ramp, 27-28 MayUPPER HARBOUR MOTORWAY (SH18)SH18 eastbound to SH1 northbound link, 29 MayAlbany Highway eastbound off-ramp, 29-30 MaySOUTHWESTERN MOTORWAY (SH20)Southbound lanes between Neilson Street off-ramp and Neilson Street on-ramp, 27 May (approx. 10:00pm to 00:00am)Neilson Street southbound on-ramp, 27 May (approx. 00:00am to 05:00am)Rimu Road northbound on-ramp, 28 MaySouthbound lanes between Puhinui Road off-ramp and Lambie Drive on-ramp, 26-30 May (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Puhinui Road southbound on-ramp, 26-30 MayCavendish Drive southbound on-ramp, 26-30 MayGEORGE BOLT MEMORIAL DRIVE (SH20A)Bader Drive northbound off-ramp, 29-30 MayPlease follow the signposted detours. NZ Transport Agency thanks you for your co-operation during these essential improvements and maintenance.

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